‘Thermal plants may make Chennai unlivable’


North Chennai, an industrial zone, suffers from air pollution, mainly from the presence of several thermal power plants. The area has the North Chennai Thermal Power Station (Stage 1 and 2), NTECL at Vallur having a capacity of 1,500 MW and the Basin Bridge Gas Turbine Power Station, which are operated by State and Union government agencies.

Ennore fishermen have been highlighting the pollution of waterways owing to dumping of fly ash. All localities suffer from air pollution that poses several health hazards.

A study done by C40, a network of the world cities committed to addressing climate change, paints a gloomy picture of public health. It says the operation of thermal power plants could lead to more deaths among the adults, loss of man days and damage to children’s health. The study, entitled ‘Coal-free cities: the health and economic case for a clean energy revolution,’ pitches for sustainable energy to create thousands of jobs, prevent loss of man days, provide residents with cheap power and tackle climate change.

The study has predicted that in the next 10 years, the pollution caused by thermal power plants could lead to 52,700 sudden deaths, 31,700 preterm births and asthma among 5,700 children in cities, including Chennai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. It has also predicted the number of sudden deaths to increase in Chennai in the year 2030 to 500 against 340 in 2019 because of the pollution from the thermal power plants.

The study has called for closing the thermal power plants in Chennai and for generating over 1.40 lakh jobs by investing in solar and wind energies.

G. Sundararajan of Poovulagin Nanbargal urged the Tamil Nadu government not to construct any new thermal plant and spike any plan for replacing or expanding the plants that are to be decommissioned in the coming years. He cited the freeze imposed on new thermal power plants by Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. He wanted the government to promote sustainable energies to rid the city of pollution from the thermal power plants.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 6:43:47 PM |

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